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How to Use Social Media to Market Your Business – Step 1. Build an Online Community

If you’re a small to medium sized business owner seeking help with learning How to Use Social Media to Market Your Business, you most likely have a ton of questions. And if you’re anything like the business owners I’ve worked with, then you probably want to cut straight through all the talk and get down to what’s important: How to Use Social Media to Market Your Business, increase revenue generation, and how does social media marketing (or any online marketing) convert into a return on investment…

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Build a community to spark conversations, build a buzz, generate content, and ultimately a reason for people to join your community and become a loyal fan!

Social Media Marketing is about Building an Online Community. Your website, facebook page, twitter account, YouTube Channel, etc. are all online hubs. They’re virtual stores! Get this through your heads because once you do, your eyes and the doors of your business will be open to a much larger world of consumers, colleagues, investors, partners, and the next thing you know, you’ve established a community!
Give people a reason to join your community. When you hear the term: “Content is king,” know that this is not a new concept. Magazines, for example, generate content related to the products they sell or advertise. Pick up any magazine and know that the subscribers of this magazine, are part of a community of people with similar interests and tastes.
Social media is about joining and sharing conversations with your friends and other people in your social network. So as a business, give people a reason to join your conversation. Does your post, blog, video, etc. speak to them on an inspirational or emotional level, or were they incentivized to share it with their friends, or perhaps it was just so darn awesome, they couldn’t help but comment and share. Below are some examples we’ve provided to help shape your basic understanding of how to use social media to market your business.

Example: How to Use Social Media to Market a Clothing Retail Boutique StoreBuild a community by sharing (or writing original) articles and content you’ve discovered elsewhere. Follow the designers of the clothes you sell in your store. Share what they’re saying or videos they’re in. Promote the designer to promote yourself. By sharing a video of a popular designer that you happen to sell in your store, you’ve begun to create a conversation and buzz. Encourage others to talk about it. Ask for opinions. Or consider writing a blog about “Things to wear on a first date.” This phrase has an average of over 9,900 searches on Google per month. In your blog, showcase your clothes and make recommendations on how to impress your boyfriend with that drop dead gorgeous dress and heels.

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Example: How to Use Social Media to Market a Restaurant – Take pictures of your food and beer, share them on facebook and twitter. Talk about your food and showcase your head chef’s menu of specials and dishes. Write a cooking blog, or provide recipes for dishes that were successful specials on a particular night. Candid videos of the staff interacting with customers and each other, and even “cool videos” not directly related to your restaurant are all ways to use social media market a restaurant.

These examples are just to get your gears going and to establish an understanding in your mind of how to use social media to market your business. Building an online community does not happen over night, but it starts with giving people a reason to join your community and most importantly a reason to continue coming back and participating.

In the next ‘How to Use Social Media to Market Your Business’ blog we will cover how building an online community converts into sales.